In a proactive move towards consumer safety, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. has voluntarily announced a recall of a limited number of salad kits. The reason behind the recall is the potential risk of cross-contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, a harmful bacterium, from a recalled cheese product manufactured by Rizo-Lopez Foods. The brands affected by the recall include Dole, President's Choice, and Marketside.
The salad kits that are part of this recall were processed on the same line as the cheese product, which has been recalled by Rizo-Lopez Foods due to potential Listeria contamination. The product lot codes for the recalled items are provided by the company. The recalled salad items have been distributed across several states in the U.S. and provinces in Canada. As part of this recall, no other Dole products are affected.
Risks Associated with Listeria
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly individuals, and others with weakened immune systems. Even healthy individuals may suffer from short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Listeria infection can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Consumers who have purchased these salad kits are urged not to consume the product and to discard it immediately. For any queries or concerns related to the voluntary recall, consumers can contact the Dole Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111. Retailers have been advised by Dole to check their store shelves and warehouse inventories to confirm that no recalled product is available for purchase by consumers.
The Broader Context
This recall comes in the wake of a multi-year, multi-state outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to queso fresco and cotija cheeses manufactured by Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc., as reported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This outbreak has resulted in 26 illnesses, 23 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths across multiple states and Canada. The investigation is still ongoing, and additional recalls for products made with or containing recalled dairy products from Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. have been reported.
It's evident that Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.'s decision to recall the salad kits is a precautionary measure taken to ensure the health and safety of consumers. In such situations, it's crucial for consumers to stay informed and take necessary action to avoid potential health risks.